In the News

Public Health in the Headlines: How Does News Coverage Impact Health?

The media narrative covering community violence have evolved over the years to include more discussion of race and police violence. At an APHA session called "Media News Coverage of Health and Risk," Laura Nixon from PHI's Berkeley Media Studies Group shared results from a study of news coverage of community violence in California from 2013 to 2015.

Media. It’s everywhere these days. So, it’s not surprising that it impacts our health and behaviors as well as our perception of serious public health problems.

Such influence was the topic of a Wednesday morning Annual Meeting session on “Media News Coverage of Health and Risk,” which began with a deeper look at how the media covers community violence and safety. Presenter Laura Nixon, of the Berkeley Media Studies Group, studied news coverage of community violence in California from 2013 to 2015.

She found that the kinds of community violence solutions represented in the media evolved over the years. For example, in 2013, policing was most commonly reported as a solution. But in 2014 and 2015, community prevention programs became the top solution cited in media coverage. Other solutions often covered in 2015 included gun control and challenging stereotypes about young men of color. On the topic of race and police violence, she reported that in 2013, 4 percent of articles studied discussed race, with that percentage jumping to 18 percent in 2014 and 33 percent in 2015. Also in 2013, just 1 percent of articles studied discussed police violence. That percentage jumped to 8 percent in 2014 and 14 percent in 2015.

Nixon also noted that during the study period, media stories about community violence and safety were increasingly framed through a lens of “safety from racial profiling” and the social determinants of health.

Read the full article.

Originally published by Public Health Newswire

More Updates

Work With Us

You change the world. We do the rest. Explore fiscal sponsorship at PHI.

Bring Your Work to PHI

Support Us

Together, we can accelerate our response to public health’s most critical issues.


Find Employment

Begin your career at the Public Health Institute.

See Jobs

Kids in a school playground


Donate to PHI Today to Build a Healthier World for Tomorrow

The last few years have been immensely challenging for communities around the globe—in some cases, setting back public health gains by years or decades. But these last few years have also demonstrated what works: Sustained investments in communities, health and equity, and policy change to support them. Now is the time to strengthen these successes, to ensure that no community falls behind.

Donate to PHI

Continue to